How to protect payments and contactless cards from technological thieves

Contactless card With the arrival of credit cards and debit cards, equipped with chip for contactless payments (without contact), have also appeared the first “technological” thieves, able to steal the data stored inside the chip to make many small purchases simply by approaching our wallet, purse or pocket and passing close enough to start the contactless connection. The thefts carried out with this technique are currently very few, given that the limit for being able to pay contactless without a PIN is 25 €, but many thieves are adopting new technologies with which they can make many purchases of 25 € in a few seconds until they are stopped.
Precisely because of this danger, in this guide, we will show you how to protect your credit card or debit card from contactless thieves to steal and clone the data in our card.

Article Index

  • How contactless payment works
  • How contactless theft occurs
  • How to protect the contactless credit card
  • Conclusions

How contactless payment works

Contactless

The modern credit cards (but also debit cards and prepaid cards) have an RFID chip inside the plastic body, able to start the payment simply by bringing the card closer to the appropriate area of ​​the POS (we can identify this area of ​​the POS by the presence of an icon with 4 waves).
Approaching the card at a distance of fewer than 10 centimeters, communication between the chip and the reader will occur, which will authorize payment of the transaction without the need to enter a PIN (up to a maximum of € 25).

How contactless theft occurs

RFID theft

Unfortunately this system is vulnerable to attacks by professional experts in the theft of credit cards: they can even “brush against” by mistake during a walk and get close enough to our wallet or our card holder to steal the codes contained in the chip RFID and then proceed to cloning: an RFID tag will be created with our codes, which can be used to make purchases up to a maximum of € 25.

Obviously a sum so low “is not worth the game”, so here is born of more advanced systems that allow you to authorize more consistent payments with various tranches of € 25.
If the victim does not immediately notice it (or if the bank does not block repeated and suspicious contactless payments) the damage can become very substantial for our pockets!
To protect ourselves we will have to use special aluminum protections, which keep our contactless cards: even when approaching, the chip cannot be read if there is a metal barrier between the card and the thief’s reader.

How to protect the contactless credit card

Below we have collected the best products that can help us protect the contactless credit card from technological thieves. These are wallets reinforced with thin layers of aluminum or anti-RFID cardholders, which prevent contactless activation.

RFID protective case

The simplest method to protect a contactless credit card involves inserting the latter in a protective case, containing a thin layer of aluminum with which to stop any type of contactless connection.

The best products can be viewed in the following list:

  1. OPTEXX 5 RFID and NFC protective cases (6 €)
  2. Aerb 16-Pack RFID Block Credit Card (€ 9)
  3. RFID Lock, Protective NFC Anti-tear Case (€ 9)
  4. RFID / NFC block card Contactless credit card protection (€ 11)

To use them, simply insert the contactless credit card inside the cases or place the block cards in the same slot where the card is present, so as to block all types of card theft.

RFID protective wallet

Wallet

If we want extended protection for our entire portfolio (especially if we have more contactless cards), we can rely on the new generation wallets, which integrate the aluminum sheets inside the covering leather, so as to block any type of RFID connection unauthorized.

The best wallets with integrated protection are available in the list below:

  1. flintronic wallet and cardholder with RFID / NFC lock (€ 12)
  2. Bifold leather wallet with RFID lock (€ 12)
  3. NUCCI DESIGN Small Thin Men’s Wallet (€ 13)
  4. Men’s Wallet Small Thin in Leather with RFID Protection (€ 15)

These wallets are minimal and integrate the protection without having to fix the block card or a protective case each time.

Manual solution

If we do not want to adopt one of the solutions proposed above but fear for our money, we can also protect our contactless credit cards in an “artisanal” way getting us an aluminum sheet (like those used in the kitchen to store food, also called tinfoil) and proceeding with the cut.
Aluminum

To carry out the protection we place the contactless credit card on the aluminum sheet, trace the outline of the paper on the sheet with a pen or a pencil and begin to cut with a pair of scissors: when the cut is completed we insert the aluminum foil to the internal slot of our wallet in which the credit card will be placed. This method, albeit rudimentary and at risk of crumpling, can protect the card from any kind of theft made with modern contactless techniques.

Conclusions

In this guide we have shown you the dangers we can encounter when we use contactless credit cards and what can we do to protect ourselves adequately, using cases, wallets or simple aluminum sheets for preventing thieves from using contactless to steal money from us.

Always on the subject of the safety of our savings, we invite you to read our guide on the best Safer online payment systems to make purchases, so as to avoid scams that can make us lose a lot of money. If, on the other hand, we want to get a new prepaid card, so that we can buy online without having to provide credit or debit card details, we invite you to read our guide to best-prepaid cards to buy online without risk.

READ ALSO: How to receive email and SMS from the bank for banking transactions

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